Potentially traumatic experiences pre-migration in women of childbearing age among Somali-and Kurdish-origin women in Finland
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Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Helsinki, Finland
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1014
Background: Across Europe there are increasing numbers of migrant origin women who are of childbearing age. Especially those who have left the country as refugees, may have been victims of serious mental and physical violence. Migrant origin women are at risk of poorer pregnancy outcomes. This study examines the prevalence of potentially traumatic experiences (PTE) pre-migration and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and their associations with adverse reproductive outcomes among migrant women of Somali- and Kurdish-origin who have been pregnant in Finland. Methods: Survey and register data from the Finnish Migrant Health and Wellbeing Study, conducted in 2010–2012, were used. Women from 18 to 64 years of age, 185 Somali- and 230 Kurdish-origin, who had at least one pregnancy or birth in Finland were included in the analysis. Survey data were linked to the Finnish Medical Birth Register, the Register of Induced Abortions, and the Care Register for Health Care until 2018. For each outcome, logistic regression was used and adjusted for age, body mass index, time lived in Finland, and the number of births. Results: Among the women included in this study, a total 67 percent of Somali-origin and 71 percent of Kurdish-origin women had experienced PTE pre-migration and 64 percent of Somali- and 32 percent of Kurdish-origin women had undergone FGM/C. In Kurdish-origin women, complications during pregnancy (e.g. bleeding in the first trimester, known or suspected fetal abnormality, other problems) were significantly more common among women without trauma (70%) than for women with trauma (48%). No associations between trauma or FGM/C and other adverse reproductive outcomes were observed in Somali- or Kurdish-origin women.   Conclusions: Past trauma is common among Somali- and Kurdish-origin women but we found no association between previous trauma and adverse reproductive outcomes. Women who have experienced trauma need culturally-competent, trauma-informed care to address women’s psychosocial needs.
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